New colors, new paints September 24, 2017 10:46

I found a place that supplies pigments to artists, and what's especially interesting about them is that they sell not only dry pigments but pigment dispersions as well as a variety of viscosities of acrylic binders. The dispersions mean that you can mix your own paint without having to worry about wearing a mask, contaminating your space, or using a muller. You can make these dispersions into acrylics, watercolors, and other stuff. They have a bunch of them.

Since I don't use cobalt blue due to toxicity (both in use and manufacture), I don't happen to like phthalo blue, and after all this time of using indanthrone blue, ultramarine looks insipid to me, I cruised through their blue pigments and found benzemidazolone blue (PB80).

I have never seen this pigment in paint form of any kind, but I researched and found that it is used in industry in high temp applications. I have other benzimidazolones, like orange, and like them. This one is described as being lightfast, having good tinting strength, and being resistant to alkaline environments, which acrylic binders are. So I ordered an ounce plus some binder. I got the lowest viscosity binder they have, acrylic #50 hard.

Coming from watercolors, one of the things I have disliked about acrylics, despite their advantages, is the thickness of even the thinnest paint. And you can't add an endless amount of water to thin them, like you can with watercolors, because the pigment won't stick to the support then. The low viscosity acrylic inks like Liquitex have the right viscosity for me, but their color range is so limited. I've been using Golden Fluids, but even they are a bit too thick for me. So I got this "low viscosity" binder in hopes it would be thinner, and it is!

I mixed up the PB80 and binder today, and holy carp, this is the bees!
benzimidazolone blue

You can see it is a redder blue than the one I have been using, indanthrone (PB60). In fact, mixed with titantium, it makes a bluish lavander that dries a bit redder. This is a great addition to my blues! 

I also bought a brownish purple color called azoic plum violet (PR171), which I have not seen in acrylic version either, and an ultra dark umber (one of my mainstays). After ordering, I noticed they have the pigment to my all-time favorite watercolor, which Old Holland had as Golden Barok Red (PO65). This stuff looks just like blood. :) Guerra has it as nickel orange deep.

Can't wait to get some. And now that I've actually tried the mixing and the binder, I know I will most likely be buying my paints from Guerra from now on. They are cheaper (1 oz of pigment dispersion makes 8 to 16 ounces of paint, depending on tinting strength) and more intense. You do need your own jars or bottles. I bought some jars for mixing and then some plastic bottles with a nozzle top for packing up. Give it a try!